Ilunga seals Hammers move
Left-back signs from Toulouse on a permanent basis
By James Dall. Last Updated: April 15, 2009 1:54pm
Ilunga: Done deal
West Ham United have completed the signing of Herita Ilunga on a permanent basis.
Congo international Ilunga joined the Hammers from Toulouse on a season-long loan last summer.
The 27-year-old left-back has impressed manager Gianfranco Zola at Upton Park and now the club have moved to acquire his services long-term.
West Ham confirmed on Wednesday that Ilunga has penned a contract that will keep him in London until 2013.
He told the club's official website: "It is a great joy for me to have signed permanently for a club that believed in me and gave me the opportunity to play in the Premier League.
"My goal is to keep developing as a player here, working for the manager and his staff. I am very happy to be here and there is a great atmosphere with my team-mates.
"The fans here are incredible because they are always behind the team. Sometimes they help us to get the victories but even when we lose they are always there for us.
"They have played an important part this season and we hope to give them a special present at the end of this season by qualifying for Europe."
West Ham CEO Scott Duxbury added: "Having agreed everything with Herita at the turn of the year, it is great that we have been able to finalise his transfer from Toulouse.
"Herita was a proven performer in France and there was no doubt about the quality we were getting when he arrived at the club.
"He has performed tremendously for us this season and Gianfranco was clear he wanted us to keep him for the long term."